Guest blog post by Hannah, Owner of Ark and Luna
There is an ever-emerging amount of evidence that speaks to the importance of having access to nature and green space for the benefit of all aspects of our wellbeing. This is true for our children as well as us as adults.
The reality of modern day living often means we often now have small back yards, may live in apartments or be restricted in the time we can travel or venture to open natural spaces.
Incorporating nature into our home environment is a meaningful way to foster a continued connection to our natural world, despite physical limitations. Here are some simple ways you can do so, despite the size of your yard or home.
Curate a Nature Table:
A nature or seasonal table is a simple shelf or space where the current season and environment is celebrated. There really is no set way to do this, but you may wish to include books about the current season, seed pods, flowers or other natural items foraged for outdoors, colours or art work that symbolise your local environment or any other items that provide you with meaning and connection to your outdoor experiences.
Nature as Loose Parts:
Fill a basket with natural pieces such as pinecones, gumnuts, sticks or shells. This basket can be placed in your children’s place space, perhaps alongside blocks or within a home corner. These items are then free to be imagined into anything your child desires.
A Simple Garden:
Almost any space has the ability to grow a small herb garden. Plants such as snow peas can be easily grown in a large pot and each can remain inside within a well-lit space if access to the outdoors isn’t possible. Nurturing and growing our own food provides so much learning for children.
Nature Inspired Craft:
Natural items foraged for outside can be reimagined into new and wonderful things. Set up an invitation to create by placing items such as sticks, seed pods or shells alongside other craft materials such as paints, string and even playdough. Give you children the space and freedom to create, or work on ideas found on places such as Pinterest. Crafting this way is earth friendly too!
Commit to setting at least 2 hours a week within your rhythm or routine to immersing yourselves outside. Explore a new park, find a new bush walk or visit the coast-line after a storm. This is possible for everyone, provides opportunity for natural learning, free play and a time to forage for natural items for the ideas above too!
Hannah is the owner of the Conscious Kids Store – Ark and Luna. Here you will find toys and resources that support nature play, creativity and mindful learning.